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Rights group indicts police, SSS over mass killings of students in Yobe

By Eric Ojo
Nigeria’s police boss, MD Abubakar

Nigeria’s police boss, MD Abubakar

Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has blamed the gruesome mass killings of innocent students of the Yobe College of Agriculture in North East Nigeria at the weekend by suspected armed Islamic insurgents on security lapses and negligence on the part of the security operatives in the state.

The association said the men of the Nigeria Police Force and the State Security Service (SSS) serving in Yobe state ought to have been alert and alive to their responsibility of gathering intelligence aimed at protecting lives and property in the state. The group therefore called for the sack of the Yobe State Commissioner of Police and the State Director of the SSS for the alleged apparent dereliction of duty to protect innocent civilians
HURIWA noted that the failure of the current federal Government to hold top security chiefs responsible for failure of security in their areas of jurisdiction is partly responsible for the continuous breach of peace and security by all sorts of armed Non-state actors across Nigeria since the current administration assumed office.
The association also reiterated that governments at every level have the constitutional obligation of safeguarding lives and property of every citizen in Nigeria and that the continuous violation of this sacred task was undemocratic and unconstitutional, adding that it may gradually erode people’s confidence in the ability of the government to exercise its constitutional authority and legitimacy.
The group equally lamented the continuous neglect by the Federal Government to take urgent, comprehensive and result-oriented measures to build up the intelligence gathering capacity of armed operatives of Nigeria’s security forces which, it said, was the root cause of the dare-devil ‘successes’ recorded so far by armed Islamic insurgents and other armed Non-State actors responsible for the spate of organized mass killings of Nigerians across Northern States of Borno; Yobe; Plateau and Kaduna States.
“The killings in the most despicable fashion of innocent youngsters in the Yobe State-based school of Agriculture by alleged armed Islamic insurgents, has shown clearly that the government is being economical with the truth on the efficacy or otherwise of the full scale state of emergency in the North East Zone of the country”, HURIWA further alleged in a statement jointly signed by its National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and Director of Media Affairs Miss Zainab Yusuf.
The association therefore even charged the government to step up effort at ridding the country of armed insurgents by all lawful means in order to ensure safety, peace and security in Nigeria.
Similarly, the group also blamed the political leaders of the North East including the governors for doing little or nothing to awaken the consciousness of the civil populace, especially in Yobe state to be alive to their responsibility of being their brothers’ keepers by establishment of viable neighbourhood security outfits to compliment the activities of the joint Military Task Force.
“We condemn without reservations, the weekend massacre of the 40 innocent students of College of Agriculture Yobe state by suspected armed Islamic insurgents. We hereby call on governments at all levels to be sincere with patriotically equipping the operatives of Nigeria’s security agencies with sound intelligence gathering capacities and to take practical measures to sensitize the civilian populace to be alive to their civil duties of protecting their lives and property by all lawful means.
“The Yobe state governor should please spare Nigerians of his ‘crocodile tears’ and take measures to safeguard the civil populace. Political, religious and civil society leaders of Northern extraction should stop the bonanza of blame game and resolve to restore peace; orderliness and respect to the fundamental human rights of all persons irrespective of their status; class or creed” it further admonished.

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